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Bzzzy Earnings – Promoting beekeeping in the Mount Rwenzori region

This solution is one of 18 climate change adaptation solutions shared in the booklet Mountains ADAPT: Solutions from East Africa, which showcases adaptation solutions proven to be successful in response to specific issues caused or accelerated by climate change. These solutions were selected for their inclusive approaches, their potential to be transferred and upscaled, as well as their extended benefits for downstream communities across the East Africa Community. This solution is described in the booklet on page 12: "Bzzzy earnings".
Members of a community group during a meeting © REMODA

Summary

In 2010, the Rwenzori Mountain Development Association (REMODA) targeted communities around Mount Rwenzori in Kasese, western Uganda, with the intention to teach and train villagers, specifically women, in sustainable beekeeping as an alternative source of income.

In the surrounding areas of Mt. Rwenzori, the majority of the population relies on agriculture for their livelihoods. However, the area is prone to frequent flooding that affects crops and homes. In May and July 2021, for example, two consecutive floods affected communities in Kasese, displacing at least 1,000 people. In addition, warmer temperatures and erratic rainfall pose significant challenges for those households that rely solely on agriculture, especially when crop production is affected.

Diversification of household revenue sources is necessary for communities in and around Kasese to avoid unsustainable practices that have negative consequences for forest cover. In particular, it is very relevant for women, who usually bear the main burden of agricultural practices and cooking, which most of the time consumes fuelwood. Therefore, to empower communities and promote sustainable practices, women play a key role and need to be supported with income opportunities.

Activities of REMODA under this solution focused on training women in sustainable beekeeping and general environmental conservation, as well as in simple ways to build modern beehives and harvest honey without destroying the hives or bee colonies. Training was also delivered on where to successfully locate new hives – which depends on the accessibility of the terrain and the presence of forage nearby to attract wild bees. Hives can be located on fertile or non-fertile lands.

Overview

Location:
  • Uganda
Implementation sites:
  • Single country
  • Single location
Mountain region:
  • Mount Rwenzori
Province:
  • Western Uganda
Site locations:
  • Buhuhira and Bwesumbo Communities

Solution scale:
  • Local
Ecosystem type(s):
  • Forest
  • Grassland
Solution type(s):
  • Education and awareness
  • Land use practice
Sector(s):
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
Climate impact(s) addressed:
  • Drought
  • Flood
Impact time-scales:
  • Slow Onset
Benefits:
  • Economic benefits (e.g. job creation, tourism)
Co-benefits:
  • Climate risk reduction (e.g. reduced risk from floods)
  • Environmental benefits (e.g. biodiversity preservation, water security, food security)
  • Social benefits (e.g. poverty reduction, inclusiveness and equity, health and well-being)
Implementation timeline:
  • 2010
Sendai targets:
SDGs:

Solution details

Main beneficiaries & outcomes

REMODA has supported over 20 women’s groups – with just under 200 women in total who keep bees as a source of livelihood, which sustains their households and enables them to generate monthly savings.

Planning and implementation

Rwenzori Mountain Development Association (REMODA) was the leading organisation in the implementation of the solution. REMODA targeted the communities in and near Rwenzori, identified women and helped them to form and build groups. Activities included training in sustainable beekeeping as an alternative source of income. The women would pass on information to their colleagues and put into practice the knowledge from the training.

Finance

Project started with grant support from BeeSupport Foundation. 

Innovation

The solution helped the women to improve the techniques of beekeeping by adopting modern methods such as use of modern beehives. 

Related resources